Saturday, May 09, 2009

April 30

Today we are in Messina, Sicily, Italy. Our ship is docked on the strait of water between mainland Italy and the island of Sicily. It was a beautiful sunny day so it was exciting as our ship arrived just before lunch.
This afternoon we had a bus tour to Mt. Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe. There was a 1 ½ hour bus ride (40 miles on the steep and winding roads) gradually going through towns and villages, edging up the mountainside, sharply navigating the hairpin curves of the road. I admire the bravery of the bus driver; so many times it seemed impossible to make the next curve. In fact, he would often blow his horn as the curve approached to let an oncoming car know we were there.
Mt. Etna is amazing. There is black rock for miles. It has erupted often, most recently within perhaps the last 5 years or so. Near the top where the bus parked, we walked around and it was so cold and windy! I had on three layers but was still cold. The wind could almost knock you over. From Mt. Etna you can see across the villages and countryside all the way to the Mediterranean. It was spectacular.
Tomorrow we are invited for a special lunch with the Captain (along with, I’m sure, dozens of other people?!?) We will be at sea all day on our way to Greece.

The video is very noisy because it was extremely windy up on the mountain; also it was very cold, the coldest I ever felt on this trip.

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